Posted by: innerpilgrimage | December 20, 2012

Whew! I’ve Been Really Busy Trying to Avoid Recovery, But it’s Happening Anyway

Holiday Eating Season Countdown: 13 Days
     
      Well, as a human doing, I have been doing quite a lot–I’ve written 4 1/2 novels since I started my 10th NaNoWriMo mid-month in November. I bailed from CoDA but returned last Saturday. Yup, My new CoDA birthday, I’ve decided, is my 43rd birthday. Great meeting, too, because I got a lot of spiritual solutions to my addict problems.

      Since I last journaled here, I haven’t journaled at all. I spent a lot of time struggling with codependency with a fictional character, and that helped. The biggest help was sitting in weekly SLAA meetings (got one tonight, too). I’ve opened the room and manhandled literature for two weeks while the person who normally leads was on vacation. I led the meeting once, and an amazing human being (more like Being with a capital B, because M— is really working the program inspirationally) led it the second time. So, no, I haven’t gone to the 4-to-5 meetings per week I intended, but I definitely was in one weekly meeting. Sometimes that seems to be the way to hold on.
      The trouble with Step Three seems to be resolved. I don’t feel the God anxiety trying to find a means to explain it to myself. Personally, the Step Three “God of my understanding” is the God of my childhood. That God and I have a transcendent codependent relationship. In other words, that imaginary friend is a giant bully who takes punishment many steps farther than my own father did: If I am disobedient? I get eternally punished to Hell. And I had no guidance in a text that condoned so many things I found horrific and contradictory. Inspiration, however, can be derived from it, so those people who are inspired by it (as I am by the Parables of the Gospels and always will be) instead of using it as a dogmatic weapon of fear and control? I celebrate that you walk your inspired path; it’s elevating you and making our shared world a better place because you exist. Moving on.
      So, I’ve been having trouble with God’s Plan, God’s Purpose for Me, and the Care of God stuff. I couldn’t see it except as the literal word of Bill W., and I suffered it. Step One was easy; addiction kicks my butt (more on why later). Step Two was learning that reality is still a great Higher Power. By my definition, God (as a Being) is part of reality. Anything that is part of Being cannot be the whole of being. Therefore? God is just like me, but with a grandiosity complex. Luring God in with the appearance of selflessness is codependence (more on that later, too.) Plus, anything that is a discrete entity cannot be infinite, eternal, or absolute–and the only way to transcend reality is to not be. So, God exists and is like a human, or God does not exist because transcendence is nothingness.
      A matter of the mind.
      A matter of addict acting out, too.
     
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE: MYSTERIES, NOT SECRETS
     
      I got an insight from the television show, Caprica. In the first season episode, “The Heavens Will Rise,” the leader of the monotheistic religion talks about secrets and mysteries. In essence, a secret is mundane, something with a hidden answer. A mystery is elevated because it has no answer; it is made up of “endless possibilities” and “permutations”. I like that idea, that program isn’t just a secret one-size-fit-all answer but a solution which touches on the mysteries. Not one 12-Step recovery is identical to another; the broad road map to recovery may have that lattice-work frame of the 12 Steps, but what we train up on that 12-Step trellis is ours.
      Well, the mystery of “the care of a Higher Power” is as broad a trellis as the twelve steps, and it resides in the purpose of living in recovery. What’s the purpose of life? To thrive.
      How we define thriving makes the act of thriving, itself, one of possibilities and permutations. There is no one answer how to thrive. We all learn on the job, as it were. And Reality’s purpose for me, as a living being (more precisely, a living human being) is to heal, thrive, and become a whole person.
     
THE SECULAR CARE OF A HIGHER POWER–READING BETWEEN THE WORDS
     
      This is not a rewrite of Step Three but what I understand the words, as written, mean to me:
     
      Release my addict self-interest and my unmanageable life to embrace what is necessary to thrive as a whole person–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
     
      I don’t need permission from God or even reality to do it. Don’t need the care of God, because reality has whatever is necessary for me to thrive available to me. I have healing through program. I have what I need to achieve my personal and optimal health, welfare, maintenance and protection all around me. To choose it is to access the courage to change the things I can. And I am a whole person, even if I suppress parts of it in order to say, “I can’t recover! I will never find the answer to beating the addiction!” then act out my self-destructive behaviors based on dogma I’ve learned and held dear to me long after it had a use. My addictions had a use when I was powerless and required others to care for me. I’m 43, not 4. My survival is not dependent on others today, though I admit I cannot function as an island unto myself. Besides, survival isn’t quite the same as thriving–one seems to be more about having what one needs and the other seems to be more about being what one needs.
     
THE WHOLE PERSON CONCEPT, WELL ONE OF THEM
     
      The basic whole person concept is that we have the same basic tools to survive and thrive in humanity: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul. I found one whole person diagram online that I felt could be a good stepping stone into the mystery of The Whole Jess. First of all, I am a whole person already, whether or not I suppress parts of it. This isn’t about finding something external to repair or patch up what I didn’t get at birth. It’s all here, though the loudest part (the mind) is “The Boss of Me.”
      So, anyway, there are categories of self in the whole person. Remember, this is a stepping stone, a means to shove that Bossy Mind around by pointing to an external knowledge which is going to be tried next. I’m resisting it, of course, because my Mind will be part of an inner democracy instead of the ruling tyrant of my internal world. The four elements of the whole self (oh, like the suits of the Tarot . . . very nice): Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. These can be represented by “I am/I act on”, “I Think”, “I Feel”, and “I Believe/I Know”. When I put this to the test with a couple of addict messages meant to keep me a slave to addiction, I got some pretty quick clarity by dealing with them using their proper qualities.
      First, I tackled “I feel fat”. People can tell me, “Fat is not a feeling,” until the cows come home, but by using this Whole Person concept as drawn in a mandala with two perpendicular bisecting lines? It started working. Fat has a place on the mandala–it is housed in the physical. Therefore, the appropriate statement would be, “I am fat.” Well, my brain can see I’m not, because I acted on the fat in my body in OA. It’s going to take a few times to remind myself that fat is part of the anatomical expression of physical form, but my logical mind does accept that fat is a physical phenomenon.
      The next one? “I am unworthy.” Rough, because it’s a judgment. However, “I am” statements are about physical body phenomena, and I don’t have unworthies flowing through my body. I don’t have a head, two arms, two legs, and an unworthy. Now, I can feel unworthy. That is part of the feeling of Inadequacy. Since my logical mind knows emotions are changeable, that feeling I am unworthy can change. It’s not part of who I am for life–like my organs. It is part of the emotional landscape, and I can act on it. (Inadequacy is the emotional message to improve. I can take action by practicing something to improve at it, if it’s a skill I want to improve.)
      Addiction is the mind creating dis-ease while promising that through the will of the mind, I can achieve what I want. Well, my addicted mind wants stagnancy. I want a calm, controlled, undisturbed life where nothing changes–especially not me. I want a bubble-wrapped life, and I want everyone in the world to do it for me because my mind says I paid my dues and deserve to be comforted. This, I’ve accepted, is extremely First World of me, to demand others take care of my responsibilities and deserve me to bitch at them when they do it wrong. My addict wants a nanny, and everyone in the world has been drafted. In other words, the grandiosity of my addict-willed mind says, “Jess is the boss, and you all are my slaves.” Of course, to lure people in who think like I do? Down into the dirt I go, groveling. The pseudo-selfless giver, pretending I am harmless and just want to serve, to please, to make happy. It’s a trap, by the way. When the person becomes enmeshed? I flip that relationship over hard, and I demand my payment for the “selfless” acts–enslavement to my personal Utopia which is calm-according-to-Jess, controlled-by-Jess, and keeps Jess feeling undisturbed.
      Yeah, I don’t really like that, either, which is why I’m in recovery and am learning to take on responsibility for what I put into the world–be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. And, no, my recovered self does not want the world to bow down to me. It’s not that I feel inferior, it’s just that I recognize if I want my life to change, I am the one person who honestly cares about whether I change or not. I certainly hope that most people would breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I’m declaring Sic Semper Tyrannis against the megalomaniac within. My life has been misery, fighting nature. My physical body kept aging, despite my mind trying to control reality and stop me from aging. I suppose when the reality that half of the average life of a woman was gone and I was still acting like a tyrant in my personal life? I decided things had to change. I picked the most obvious (weight) and entered an OA room. Weight loss revealed that I wanted external romantic/sexual approval of that new body. So, I walked into an SLAA room. Then, after reaching a crisis in life with the very real loss of a friend in program (a friend who reflected my SLAA bottom lines back at me, which were CoDA-related), I finally admitted that my trouble in SLAA had everything to do with my life as a manipulator who trampled boundaries and enmeshed myself like a virus in other already-weakened people.
      Recovery? Sent me to the right doors at the right times. The fellowship has guided me to answers–even without a sponsor. Do I want a sponsor? Yes, I do. An I afraid of enmeshing with a sponsor? Yes, I am.
     
      Well, it all comes down to the axiom, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Enmesh to control, enmesh to be taken care of, or opt out. I’m opting out. I don’t like living in guilt and shame knowing I premeditate then act on the addiction. I don’t get pleasure out of it. I once did, but it just sickens me before I even get to that point. That’s not how I ever wanted to live. It’s not how I ever wanted to be. However, I practiced it and made it so much a part of how I coped with life that I made it my personal dogma. It was thought perceived to be written in stone. And like every thought? It can be changed.
     
      My name is Jess, and I am an addict. Food, toxic romantic relationships, codependent enmeshment and manipulation. I am tired, but I am, well, content. I have that “joy” emotion in a mellow way, and it’s pretty good to sit in gratitude of a desirable outcome I didn’t realize had arrived.

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